The many advantages of Friction Stir Welding have led to a relatively rapid acceptance in the often conservative welding community. Because the process is so different from traditional fusion welding, with which most investigators are most familiar, there remain many aspects of FSW for which there is no clear consensus. For example, the well known onion rings seen in transverse sections have been variously interpreted as grain size variations, variation in density of second phase particles and parts of the carousel of material rotating with the pin that have been shed from the carousel. Using Orientation Imaging Microscopy, Schneider has recently noted that the onion rings have a different orientation (and hence etch differently) than the surrounding material, and this orientation is consistent with slip plane orientations at the edge of the carousel. Likewise, the forces and torque exerted by the FSW tool on the work piece largely remain unaccounted for. Although these forces are routinely measured by investigators with commercial instrumented welders, they are rarely reported or even qualitatively analyzed. This paper will introduce a model based on a carousel or disk of material that rotates with the tool to estimate the torque and plunge force required to plunge a tool into the work piece. A stationary tool is modeled rather than the moving tool because effects such as thermal transients and metallurgical changes in the sample (primarily aging in aluminum) can be more easily accounted for. It is believed, however, that with some modifications the model should be applicable to a moving tool also.